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Universal CityWalk was aglow on Tuesday as the cast and crew of Insidious: Chapter 2 appeared for the premiere of director James Wan’s sequel.
Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Lin Shaye and many others from the original cast made the rounds on the red carpet, speaking excitedly about the latest installment of the supernatural horror film.
While the prospect of a sequel to 2010’s Insidious appealed to Wan and screenwriter Leigh Whannell throughout production, Shaye tells The Hollywood Reporter that “they weren’t going to do another film unless they had a great story.” Shaye credits producer Jason Blum for “encouraging them to find that story.”
The success of the original film came as a rousing surprise for those involved in its production as well as industry analysts, grossing over $100 million with a $1.5 million budget. As is true of many sequels, spending for Insidious: Chapter 2 did increase, but Blum’s confidence in the low-budget business model ultimately prevailed.
“We do it, really, because we have creative freedom,” Blum says. “The first Insidious never would have happened if it weren’t for that model to take risks. I think the movie feels very original, and I think that that’s why.”
Once filmmakers recognize the potential benefits, Blum expects to see a rise in low-budget productions. “You can’t kill a lead character in a $200 million movie,” Blum explains. “On a $2 million movie, everybody can die.”
Emphasis on creative freedom during production tied cast and crew together in Insidious: Chapter 2. Byrne tells THR that Wan’s particular zeal for independent filmmaking, “really paid off in terms of him as a filmmaker — really having autonomy over his movie.”
Says Wilson: “Keeping the formula the same keeps all the decisions, the creative decisions, up to James and Leigh, which is a real bonus … It’s the same formula that worked for the first one, and hopefully it works for this one.”
Writer Whannell notes the importance of genre when considering film budgets. “With horror films, especially supernatural horror films, special effects and big budgets don’t really help. I mean, you’re talking about very simplistic techniques here.” Speaking with THR, Whannell reasons that minimal funding “almost behooves a horror film.”
Wan and Whannell use their expanded creative license to explore new realms within the supernatural horror film, allowing audiences to reacquaint themselves with the original cast whose stories are sure to haunt moviegoers who dare to brave theaters upon Insidious: Chapter 2’s national release this week: on Friday the 13th.
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